Why sharks with Pascal Gospodinov?
Pascal Gospodinov was a simple mechanic when he had his very first shark encounter in 1995, freediving in the waters of Isla Margherita (Venezuela). This
encounter was very different from what he thought to know about sharks. This Blacktip Reef Shark girl was so shy but also driven by curiosity and so much more that can’t be expressed with words. But she wasn’t the creature that people call “shark”… this encounter was the game changer in Pascal’s life!
Of French origins, Pascal Gospodinov grew up in Germany, and lived in several different countries. Today he lives in La Paz, BCS, Mexico; and beside French and German he also speaks fluent English and Spanish.
After that first encounter, he began to dive and went back to university to become a shark behaviourist. Then, Pascal met Erich Ritter who was one of the biologists in that time who propagated a different idea of shark behaviour, ideas that matched much more with Pascal’s shark experiences than any others. After that, Pascal joined the SERC (Shark Education and Research Center) in 2003 to do his degree thesis. After obtaining his MSC Diploma degree, he began his PhD project on ‘Shark reaction on human stress’, he wanted to know how human behaviour affects sharks and if human misbehaviour and stress would lead to accidents.
During that time he taught shark-human interaction workshops and served as research project supervisor at SharkSchool.The big idea was to find correlation of factors that leads to shark accidents and to find reliable accident prevention rules.
Actually Pascal main focus is the education of the general public in regard of changing the image of sharks; „Forget what you learned about sharks and begin to „listen“ to them!“.
His love for sharks made him travel a lot and he worked and dove with sharks all around the world; Egypt, La Réunion, Mexico, Ecuador, South Africa, Azores, just to name some of the most significant spots. Today he works in the beautiful Revillagigedo archipelago, Socorro islands in Baja California.
Today, we can say Pascal knows a lot about the pros and contras of all types of shark dives and he is very happy to talk about it. Beside diving and sharks, he loves boats and to work on them. He is a pleasure yacht captain and chief mate for commercial vessel. Probably due to his international roots, Pascal is a very social and friendly person.
Diver and conservationist, Pascal is also one of the scientific advisers of the German NGO, Stop Finning“ and, since 2016, he is one of the Shark Behaviourist Advisers for the Sharks Educational Institute.